Mount Zas, also known as Mount Zeus, is the highest peak in the Cyclades archipelago, located on the Greek island of Naxos. Rising to an elevation of 1,004 meters, it offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Aegean Sea and the surrounding Cycladic islands. This mountain was a focal point in mythology, with an ancient inscription on a rock that reads "Mountain of Zeus, protector of sheep".
Zas Mountain's flora is rich and diverse, including small oak forests at the base of the mountain and various shrub species that flourish throughout its entire volume. Its fauna is also abundant with various bird species such as vultures, eagles, hawks, and falcons, as well as wild goats and different kinds of reptiles.
On the slopes of Mount Zas lies Aria spring, fed by the mountain's underground aquifers, which provides fresh, clean water to the surrounding area. It is also a popular stop for hikers trekking up the mountain, offering a refreshing place to rest and replenish their water supplies. Aria spring is one of the starting points to Zas Cave and the summit of Mount Zas.
Zas Cave is a large cavern located on the northeastern slopes of Mount Zas.
According to Greek mythology, this was the place where Zeus was raised by the nymphs Adamanthea and Melissa, who hid him there to protect him from his father, Cronus. The cave is open to visitors and offers a unique glimpse into the island's ancient mythological past. Inside the cave, visitors can see stalactites and stalagmites. Although the entrance to the cave is a bit steep and requires some climbing, the stunning views and historical significance make it well worth the effort.
Mount Zas is a popular destination for hikers and nature enthusiasts, with the most popular route starting from the church of Agia Marina and taking approximately one hour to reach the top. At the summit, visitors can enjoy the stunning views and take in the fresh mountain air. Hiking up Mount Zas offers a unique opportunity to experience the island's natural beauty and rich mythology.